Aurora Police Investigators John Munn and Darrell Moore recently were named Co-Employees of the Year for their work to free a man serving 70-year prison term after being wrongly convicted of murder.
"Innocent individuals serving time in prison is wrong," Aurora Police Chief Greg Thomas told the investigators during a ceremony.
"(The defendant) Jonathan Moore had his trial and exhausted his appeals. No one was going to help him, but you took it upon yourselves to correct the situation and an innocent person was rightfully set free. Your actions were courageous and heroic," Thomas told the two men.
Jonathan Moore was 20 when he was convicted of murder in the Aug. 24, 2000 shooting of Shawn Miller, 20, of Montgomery.
But in April 2011, the investigators were told by a confidential informant that Jonathan Moore was not involved in the crime.
The investigators reinterviewed witnesses and found 10 new people who had information about the case but did not initially come forward, officials said. Jonathan Moore was freed from prison after serving more than a decade behind bars when the Kane County State's Attorney's Office vacated the conviction in March 2012.
More than two dozen officers and two non-sworn support employees were finalists for the award.
Other finalists included: Investigator Steve Stemmet and Sergeants Jeff Tate, Eric Westrom and Rob Wallers.
Also on the list of finalists were officers Daniel Gray, Jonathan Olsen, Jason Woolsey, David Bemer, Shireen Long, Dave Brian, Brian Baumann, Christopher Grandchamp, Enrique Huerta, Sandra Martinez, Christopher Cox, John Gray, Laura Kolanowski, Sandra Navarrete, Aendri Decker, Kyle Hoffman, Ramon Lopez, Steven Pacenti, Matt Bonnie, Laurie Pekich and Dave Hornburg. Records clerks Cheryl Joyce and Tammy Renaud also were named finalists.
Munn and Moore received several other honors last year for their work.
Police academy nears: Registration is ongoing for the Kane County Sheriff's Office Citizen Police Academy, which provides community members with an inside look at local law enforcement.
The academy begins April 3 and is taught by sheriff's office members, each highlighting their individual area of expertise. The 10-week academy meets 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays.
Residents will learn about different divisions within the office and each will do a ride-along with a deputy to experience the situations law enforcement officers routinely encounter and how each situation is handled.
There is no charge for the academy, but participants are asked to attend all 10 weeks.
People who are interested must print an application and mail it to the sheriff's office. For more information, call (630) 208-2000.